25 Superfoods that your kid’s just might eat

25 Superfoods and recipes that your family just might like [the House of Hendrix}Superfoods are just that…SUPER foods. They can heal our bodies, protect out bodies, control our behavior, ward of cancer, lower our cholesterol, fight inflammation, and help our brains have greater focus. As adults, it’s a no brainer. We know what we should be eating.

Often though we dismiss offering Superfoods to our families because we assume they won’t eat a plate of raw kale. So I compiled a list of nutritionally-dense foods that offer both added health benefits AND my children will eat.  It serves as a shopping list for me, helping me make intentional choices. When we fill our diets with lots of healthy foods, there is less room for the other stuff.

Here we go:

1.Cocoa

Yup! It’s a superfood. Thank goodness because I LOVE dessert. Just make sure it’s 70% pure cocoa and isn’t Dutch processed (that takes out the good stuff). Hershey’s, for instance, makes both a dutch processed and a “natural” version.

  • benefits : Loaded with antioxidants which fight free radicals. Stimulates blood flow to the brain aiding cognitive development.  Helps keeps your heart healthy and protects against sun damage
  • kid-friendly ideas: a cup of hot cocoa; mix into smoothies; sprinkle on top of yogurt, strawberries, or bananas
  • recipes

2. Sweet Potatoes

This deep orange vegetable is sweet, filing, and a powerhouse of nutrition.

  • benefits: Filled with potassium, iron, fiber, vitamin A, B6, C & D. May protect vision & help prevent heart attacks. Added plus, the magnesium may aid in reducing stress by promoting relaxation.
  • kid-friendly recipe

3. Artichokes

Who wouldn’t want to pluck, dip, and slide your teeth off the leaves of this Super-fun steamed veggie? Only problem, my 25 Superfoods that your family just might eat {the House of Hendrix}kids don’t stop at one and my pot isn’t big enough to make 8.

4. Oatmeal

Breakfast of choice for my boys. We add chopped apples and cinnamon for a delicious morning treat.

5. Pumpkin

This deep orange seasonal fruit should be enjoyed all year round, although we tend to OD on it during the fall months.

  • benefits: antioxidants reduce inflammation and aid in joint health. High in fiber and both Vitamin A and C. Can protect the eyes and  is good for the skin.
  • kid-friendly ideas: roast pumpkin seeds, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes
  • sneak: replace oil in baking recipes with canned pumpkin
  • recipes

6. Nut/Nut Butters

A day does not go by in our house without a handful of nuts and a smear of nut butter. My children have been known to eat nut butter by the spoonful. A standard breakfast request in our house “Mini-wheats, peanut butter and milk please”

7. Dark Greens (kale/spinach)

Don’t rule out kale until you’ve at least tried kale chips. Spinach and Kale can be prepared so that even the pickiest of eaters will be coming back for more.

8.  Kiwi

Although it was a manatee in my son’s science project last year, we more regularly enjoy this fruit by the case from Costco

  • benefits: more vitamin C than oranges. Strengthens immune system & aids in cardiovascular health. Fiber-rich.
  • kid-friendly ideas: cubed over vanilla frozen yogurt

9. Eggs

Hard boiled or scrambled,  poached or over easy, we love eggs!25 Superfoods that your Family just might eat [the House of Hendrix]

10. Hummus/Chickpea beans

You will never buy hummus again. So easy. So smooth. No aftertaste. Absolutely delicious!|the House of HendrixHummus makes the perfect nutritious dip for carrots, celery, bell peppers, and tomatoes.

11. Seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, flax, chia

Another popular staple in our home. We throw sunflower seeds on our salads and into trail mix, pumpkin seeds in our lunch box, and flax in our smoothies.

12. Soybeans/Edamame

13. Berries – Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries

Nobody needs encouragement to eat these delicious fruits. The fact that they are healthy too is just a delight.

  • benefits: Some of the highest content of disease-fighting antioxidants there is. It’s high in vitamins, has anti-inflammatory effects, and may reduce the effects if age-related memory loss.
  • kid-friendly ideas – fruit kabob
  • recipes 

14. Quinoa

Forbes calls it the SuperGrain of the future. It’s protein-rich and almost double the fiber of other grains.

15. Avocado:

16. Tomatoes

25 Superfoods that your family just might eat [The House of Hendrix}

From pizzas to salads, salsa to soup, everybody can find a way to like tomatoes

17. Yogurt

Our family has transitioned to Greek Yogurt because of it’s higher protein content but any yogurt with live cultures and a lower sugar content will have great health benefits.

  • benefits: good source of protein & calcium. Live cultures help increase immune system and intestinal health.
  • sneak: replacement for sour cream in recipes like tacos and dips. Replace oil in baking with it. I’ve had great results brownies & corn bread recipes.
  • kid-friendly recipes – parfaits & smoothies

18. Cinnamon 

This spice is a great way to add added nutrition to your family’s diet, and it’s a natural food preservative.25 Superfoods that your family just might eat

  • benefits: regulates blood sugar, may lower bad cholesterol, has anit-infectious properties, and has even shown to reduce menstrual pain.
  • kid-friendly ideas – mix into your morning oatmeal. add to muffin, pancake, cookie batters. Sprinkle in soup or on top of ice cream. Cinnamon toast
  • recipes

19. Green Tea

OK, so it’s not a food but it is so good for you, it had to make the list. Chose decaf varieties for children.

  • benefits: Filled with antioxidants and it keeps your immune system strong. Studies have shown it can reduce the size of tumors and in some cases actually make cancer cells die.
  • kid-friendly ideas – decaf green tea with juice and honey

21.  Citrus – Lemons, grapefruits, and oranges

22. Cocount Oil 

I just discovered this last year and have loved experimenting with it. it adds a GREAT texture to baked goods.

23. Salmon/tuna 

I don’t like salmon, but you should. It’s SO good for you.

24. Peppers – Red, Green, Yellow, Orange.

25. Amazing Gras Kid’s Superfood Chocolate Powder 

25 Superfoods that your kids might actually eat.

When all else fails, get your fruits  and veggies in this chocolate powder. We mix it in milk or smoothies. For years my children thought this was “chocolate milk” and drank it obsessively until one day, they had the real thing. Start young.

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EXTRA RECIPE :Crockpot Cilantro Lime Shredded ChickenCompletely Addictive! Crockpot Cilantro Lime shredded chicken. And the tricks to keep chicken moist. | the House of Hendrix

Teaching Empathy through Role Play

Teaching Empathy through Role Play

I have the privilege today of concluding a 5 part series entitled “How to Cultivate Empathy in  your Child’s Heart. Four inspiring bloggers have written posts each day this week on the topic. Each shares their unique perspective and method to exploring empathy with children. Links to their articles are at the end of this post.

Teaching Empathy through Role Play [the House of Hendrix}

At the moment, my children could use a little help on matters pertaining to empathy. So I took 3 circumstances that our family has recently encountered, and we decided to switch places through role play.

  • We’re going to walk in their shoes.
  • We’re going to record the difficulties, frustrations, and emotions associated with each situation.
  • Most importantly we want to learn how to respond to our empathy.   How are we going to act differently in the future because of it?

role play #1  –  A Broken Arm

We took some Pre-Wrap that my daughter uses to make headbands and made some casts securing their arms against their waist. The day continued as usual.Teaching Empathy through Role Play [the House of Hendrix}

mirror

Difficulties and Frustrations with a Broken Arm: (in their words…)

  • Tough getting dressed
  • Even tougher brushing my hair & putting it in a ponytail
  • Only having one hand to play video games
  • Carrying heavy things like the laundry basket
  • Not being able to swim with the other kids.
  • Impossible to tie my shoes
  • It wasn’t comfortableTeaching Empathy through Role Play [the House of Hendrix}

What I’ll do next time a friend has a broken arm: I’ll…(kid’s words)

  • Help them carry their books and backpack at school
  • If we are at the pool, play a game with them that isn’t in the water.
  • Open their door or tie their shoes
  • Braid their hair for them.
  • Say sorry their arm is itchy and you hope they feel better

role play #2  – Being Blind (or physically impaired) 

They took turns covering each others eyes with a scarf. We headed to Target to get school supplies.

Teaching Empathy through Role Play [the House of Hendrix}Teaching Empathy through Role Play [the House of Hendrix}

Difficulties of a physical impairment like being blind:

  • People stared at us.
  • You have to ask for a lot of help
  • I didn’t know what my brothers were laughing at, and I thought it was me.
  • I felt like nobody wanted to play with me.
  • It was hard to find the school supplies I needed.

Teaching Empathy through Role Play [the House of Hendrix}

Even with limited vision, she was still able to swat her brothers.

What I’ll do next time I’m with a friend that is physically impaired

  • I won’t stare even if they don’t see me. I’ll smile instead.
  • I will ask them if they want to play with me because they are a lot of games they can still play.
  • I’ll ask them if they need help finding something or getting somewhere.
  • If something is funny, I’ll explain what it is, so they don’t think they are being laughed at.

role play #3 No food for Dinner

My youngest swapped out our 3rd role play activity to ‘Having nothing to eat for dinner’. I thought it was a fabulous idea since so many children in our country experience hunger on a daily basis. That said, only my youngest participated in this one.Teaching Empathy to children [the House of Hendrix}

Difficulties with having No Dinner:

  • I’m starving all the time
  • I’m staring at other people’s food wishing it was mine
  • My tummy is making noises

Next time I see somebody who is hungry, I’ll…

  • Definitely give them some of my food.
  • Say a prayer that God will provide some food and make their tummy not hurt.
  • Be nice to them because they are probably grouchy.

I participated in this series on empathy because dear friends have walked along side of me through trials not their own. Their ability to empathize with my various circumstances was seen through overflowing compassion upon me. My soul was ministered to. I want my children to have that type of heart…one that not only finds a way to relate to another, but then responds to it with encouragement, hope or a simple hug.

Check our the other articles in this 5 part series “How to Cultivate Empathy in your Child’s Heart”:

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The Not-So-Perfect 1st day of school

The Not-So-Perfect 1st day of school

In the excitement of a new school year, don't forget the underlying things kids really need. | the House of HendrixOur not-so-perfect 1st day of school

This picture…yup, it’s from last year. Want to know why? Because today it just didn’t work. Any of it!

Last night, I laid out freshly-cleaned uniforms in each of their rooms. I had lunches made, water bottles filled, and backpacks ready to go by the door. I planned a waffle breakfast and set my alarm clock 30 minutes earlier than necessary to ensure there would be extra time for cuddles and reassurance. I even had our chalkboard sign ready for pictures, like the ones currently flooding my Facebook scroll.  So this should be a happy post about the excitement of the first day of school.

But sometimes life just isn’t like that. It’s messy, unpredictable, and you just have to roll with the punches.

We had a good start but the last 10 minutes killed us. My son spilled syrup on that freshly-cleaned shirt. “No problem Sugar Dumpling. Let me get you another shirt.” Yay, we did that 3 times and there was no Sugar Dumping that 3rd time.

Our other son decided  kids would think his combed hair looked weird, so he put his hand to the top of his head and made circles until every last piece of hair was stuck in a different direction. Dad reprimanded and brushed it again. Lip quivering with anxiety over what the 1st graders would think, his hand returns to his head only this time evident it had nothing to do with his actual hair.   We told him his hair looked cool.

Then my daughter didn’t believe I had really signed her up for Hot Lunch and insisted on seeing the email confirmation before she would get in the car.

When I tried to take that 1st Day of School picture that I have taken every year since birth, the boys fought over who got to hold the sign, that is until the sprinklers went off spraying the chalk lettering. It was only kinda funny at the time.The not-so-perfect 1st day of school [the House of Hendrix}

It didn’t matter how much I prepared last night, today was going to be messy. We had nerves, anticipation, and a drippy eater. I was reminded it’s not my job to make the morning routine perfect, it’s my job to create an atmosphere that when they have their moments of anxiety and insecurity, there is warmth, guidance and grace.

I was once the maid of honor in a beautiful wedding where every detail was perfect. As I went to straighten the bride’s gown mid-ceremony, I knocked the tall glass-encased candles which lined the stairs to the altar. Every eye including my own froze with anticipation as we waited for the shattering of the glass at the bride’s feet. Thankfully it didn’t and there was laughter instead, but the bride’s mother came up to me afterwards and said  “Allison, thank you! I had been holding my breath for the perfect wedding and once you knocked that over, I finally exhaled. I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect and I was able to enjoy the moment.”  Uh, you’re welcome?

How often does our desire to create a perfect moment for our loved ones get derailed by the unexpected? What my children needed this morning wasn’t another cute picture in front of the house, they needed to know that there was order and certainty to the lunch process. They needed reassurance over an acceptance issue revealing itself through hair. And they needed to know that a little spilled syrup doesn’t have to ruin your day.

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